Genres: Humor, Memoir, Nonfiction
Published by Harper Collins on October 28th 2014
Format: Hardcover (352 pages) • Source: Purchased
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In a perfect world . . .We'd get to hang out with Amy Poehler, watching dumb movies, listening to music, and swapping tales about our coworkers and difficult childhoods. Because in a perfect world, we'd all be friends with Amy—someone who seems so fun, is full of interesting stories, tells great jokes, and offers plenty of advice and wisdom (the useful kind, not the annoying kind you didn't ask for, anyway). Unfortunately, between her Golden Globe-winning role on Parks and Recreation, work as a producer and director, place as one of the most beloved SNL alumni and cofounder of the Upright Citizens' Brigade, involvement with the website Smart Girls at the Party, frequent turns as acting double for Meryl Streep, and her other gig as the mom of two young sons, she's not available for movie night.Luckily we have the next best thing: Yes Please, Amy's hilarious and candid book. A collection of stories, thoughts, ideas, lists, and haikus from the mind of one of our most beloved entertainers, Yes Please offers Amy's thoughts on everything from her
God Amy Poehler is the coolest. I absolutely loved every second of this book. Luckily I had adjusted my expectations a little bit when I saw some reviews that this wasn’t completely a humor book. She mixed in some serious stuff and actual advice too, which I ended up loving just as much. (Well, maybe not just as much. It would be great to have a whole book on the hilarity that is Parks and Rec.) I loved how authentic this book felt. She doesn’t sugar coat anything – her advice or her stories. She gives sex advice and talks about doing drugs; she’s fearless. Even before starting the audiobook portion of my read, I was reading everything in her voice. It felt like she was talking directly with me as if we were friends (like the synopsis says). I really enjoyed the variety of the content, too. Nothing was stiff or formal. It felt more like a scrapbook than a memoir. She had random haikus, handwritten notes, personal photos, chapters from people like Seth Meyers, and lots of lists. I think that was a major reason that this held my attention better than other nonfiction books do; I was anxiously awaiting the next topic because I had NO idea what it could be about. She had a lovely chapter full of her friends and coworkers…followed by a chapter that’s subtitle was “things I learned on mushrooms.” It kept me on my feet and intrigued. I can’t emphasize enough how real this book was. She felt like a normal person (who just happens to be famous and name-drop quite often) reading her journal. She admitted many mistakes she made, like the SNL jokes that were careless, the fact that she’s obsessed with reading stories about bad things happening because she wants to punish herself for having a happy childhood, and that she can be self-indulgent sometimes. I could relate to a lot of things from the book, especially stories of her small Massachusetts hometown. I too came from a very small town where drinking was often at the forefront and there was overall not much to do. There also wasn’t much crime. I had a good childhood, where I felt safe, loved, and happy. I can relate to her fascination with “bad news” and seeking out disaster sometimes because she feels she deserves it. Her concluding chapter about technology really resonated with me too. I have to remind myself to unplug more often than not. I resolved, after finishing the book, to keep my phone away from me most of the time I’m at home. It ends up distracting me so much! I can’t get through a book, a TV show, or a conversation with my boyfriend without feeling the need to check it.
Overall, I really loved this book. It’s hard to find flaws in something that had such realness and variety. It was simultaneously exactly what I expected from her, while also being much more than I expected. If anything, I do wish there was more about her feminist beliefs, production of Broad City, and time on Parks and Rec. I was fascinated by the SNL chapters because I actually am not a huge fan of the show, but it was cool to hear about what goes into making it and what some of the celebrity hosts were like. That being said, a lot of the book was about SNL and her improv experiences. That was really interesting, but I would have appreciated a bit more balance in that regard.
I also highly recommend, if you can, to read the physical copy as well as listen to the audiobook. I read the first third of the book in physical firm, listened to the middle through some of the end, and then finished with reading the hard copy. The physical book is gorgeous and filled with handwritten things and pictures. The audiobook is narrated by her and very funny. SO give both a try! Alternate if you can.